Saturday, 31 August 2013

Covers to Covet #4

Covers to Covet

Have you ever chosen a book based solely on its cover?

Sometimes a cover is a complete turn off but other times they make me want to rush right out and buy the book immediately!

Here are some recent additions to my Covers to Covet board on Pinterest:

Would-Be WitchBarely BewitchedHalfway HexedSlightly Spellbound (Southern Witch #4)

There is something enigmatic about the new covers for Kimberly Frost's Southern Witch series. The model's bright read hair really stands out against the lighter background and the embossed ocelot in intriguing.

Would-Be-Witch by Kimberly Frost
Barely Bewitched by Kimberly Frost
Halfway Hexed by Kimberly Frost
Slightly Spellbound by Kimberly Frost

The Gathering Storm (Katerina, #1) The Unfailing Light (Katerina, #2)The Morning Star (Katerina, #3)

 The subdued colors and Russian period dress for the covers in Robin Bridge's Katerina series cuaght my eye immediately.

The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
The Unfailing Light by Robin Bridges
The Morning Star by Robin Bridges

ScorchedUnbreakable (Legion, #1) 

Not usually a fan of orange or yellow but on these covers they work. The orange works well with the dragon to evoke images of fire and destruction and the yellow hues with the swirls in the back ground and the girl in leather in the foreground are suggestive of a desert climate (not sure if there is one in the book though).

Scorched by Mari Mancusi
Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

*Links to Goodreads

Friday, 30 August 2013

Feature & Follow #4

Increase Blog Followers 

Feature & Follow Friday is a blog hop aimed at providing exposure for new bloggers and at expanding blog followers. The hop is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read and is a wonderful opportunity for making new friends and sharing your love for books and reading. 

This week's featured blogs are: The Whimsical Mama and I Read, Ergo I Write
Q: If you could only have ONE - one book - for the rest of your life. Don't Cheat ... What would it be?

Mirror Image by Sandra Brown
Mirror Image

What would your one and only be?

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Immortal Rider by Larissa Ione

Immortal Rider (Lords of Deliverance, #2 ) Title: Immortal Rider
Author: Larissa Ione
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Synopsis: Betrothed to the Prince of Lies, the only horsewoman of the apocalypse, Limos or famine, will be forced into marriage if she succumbs to passion of any kind. Enter Arik Wagner who never thought that stealing a kiss from Limos would land him in Hell - literally!

Review: The romance and chemistry between Limos and Arik is an improvement on book #1 although there is still something missing in their connection perhaps due to the emphasis on lies and secret keeping; a trope that has put me off contemporary romance and it is out of place in PNR. Moreover, Limos and Arik are not exactly a power couple - he is pretty one-dimensional and nondescript and she is too self-absorbed to be a completely likable heroine.

The plot is also far fetched and disjointed. The descriptions of excruciating torture, rapid healing and death in large numbers is not only excessive and unrealistic (even for PNR) but also serve to desensitize the reader to the atrocities committed within the pages and to undermine the threat of the approaching apocalypse.

In addition, the subplots between Reaver & Havester and Thanatos & Regan, while better developed and more interesting than the primary storyline, tend to overshadow the search for Limos's agimortus - a supposedly significant plot point that takes back seat to all the secret keeping and angst.

As mentioned, the developments in the secondary relationships are the highlights of the book. Pestilence is a despicable villain and even though his redemption is obviously in the works, Ione may have to pull a rabbit out of the hat to make it believable.

Reaver and Harvester are another compelling "opposites attract" couple but once again, it is difficult to see how Ione will overcome the obstacles to their romance, particularly the fact that Harvester is almost as evil as Pestilence.

Finally, Thanatos and Regan are the most entrancing pair in the series. Yes, there is some controversy over their sexual encounter but to me it cannot be removed from the context of the Demonica world in which good and evil are not black and white but shades of gray nor can the mitigating circumstances and the issue of intent be ignored.  Nevertheless, the consequences of Regan's actions make the inevitable HEA with Thanatos particularly intriguing and I look forward to seeing what happens next.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Hunks of the Week: August 21-27, 2013

The My Book Boyfriend group over at Shelfari has a monthly thread dedicated to the hotties that caught members' eyes over the course of their reading. The thread encompasses all genres from romantic suspense and contemporary romance to urban fantasy and paranormal romance with a few historical heroes thrown in. 
Its been an active week on the group and The Hottie Harem is here to spread the love for the fourth week of August:

Rescue Me

Contemporary Romance  
Caleb Clark in Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox
Sean Owens in Flirting With Disaster by Ruthie Knox
Levi Cooper in The Best Man by Kristan Higgins (re-read)
Matt Bowers in At Last by Jill Shalvis
Ford Walker in The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis

Romantic Suspense/Thriller 
Will Trent in Busted & Unseen by Karin Slaughter
Jordan Montgomery in Rescue Me by Christy Reece
Nick Cappuano in Fatal Justice by Marie Force
Urban Fantasy  

David in Ill Wind by Rachel Caine

Historical Romance
Nicholas Brisbane in Silent on the Moor by Deanna Raybourn

Whose your hunk for this week? 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #3: Most Memorable Secondary Characters

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish for those of us who love our lists!

This week's list:
Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters:  
1. Derek in The Kate Daniels series: Great sidekick material and a potential hero in the making.
2. Feste in The Twelfth Night: Playing the fool doesn't mean being a fool.
3. Mr. Collins in Pride & Prejudice: Memorable and NOT in a good way!
4. Mr. Tumnus in The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe: People can learn from their mistakes.
5. Karin Murphy in The Dresden Files: Harry's warrior angel. Never met an ass she couldn't kick!
6. Sophia Deveraux: Because you always need someone to get rid of the bodies!
7. Beast in The Jane Yellowrock series: Love her adversarial relationship with Jane.  
8. Jenks in The Hollows series: The cutest pixie out there.
9. Dobby in The Harry Potter series: Goodness comes in some really small packages.
10. Neville Longbottom in The Harry Potter series: Courage means standing up to your friends just as much as standing up to your enemies.

Who are your most memorable secondary characters?

Against the Law by Kat Martin

Against the Law (The Raines of Wind Canyon, #3) Title: Against the Law
Author: Kat Martin
Rating: 3 Stars

Synopsis: Determined to trace the baby girl her sister gave up for adoption. Lark Delaney seeks the help of P.I. Devlin Raines. However, what initially begins as a routine investigation turns into a dangerous adventure when the girl's parents are killed and she is kidnapped. 

Review: Similar to the first two books in the series, the basic premise has potential but the execution is poor with overly descriptive and redundant scenes.

Lark and Dev have tangible chemistry and there are, thankfully, no fade to black scenes as in book #2. That said, neither character is particularly likable. Dev is afraid to commit and constantly muses over the possibility of being with other women while Lark comes across as flirty and also mentions the possibility of having sex with another man. Their relationship is based almost solely on sex and their HEA is not believable.

The plot starts out well with the black market adoption ring. Unfortunately, this storyline is underdeveloped and plays out far too quickly. The book then goes off in a completely different, and unrealistic, direction with megalomaniac drug lords, rival cartels and special forces operatives taking over.

In sum, this series is nothing special and the secondary characters who will be the focus of future books are not that interesting.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Musing Monday #4: Murder for Young Readers

Hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.

• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).

• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!

• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.

• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!

• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My musing this week is ... a ramble!

"The boy from District 1 dies before he can pull out the spear. My arrow drives deeply into the center of his neck. He falls to his knees and halves the brief remainder of his life by pulling out the arrow and drowning in his own blood." - The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

The Boston Globe has a fascinating article on the violence in children's books. It turns out that books published today such as The Hunger Games have a lot in common with classics such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Tarzan of the Apes not to mention Grimm's Fairytales, and that murder and mayhem as been a staple in children's literature from the beginning of the written word. 

 Personally, I'm not surprised. Human nature being what it is, people are attracted to the blood and gore at any age and authors like to give their audience what they want. 

What surprised me is the outrage of parents and educators who have obviously forgotten what they read as children. 

Do you remember any particularly gruesome books from your childhood? 

Bout of Books 8.0: Concluding Post

Bout of Books 

Didn't complete my goal but didn't do too badly either.

Partially completed 2 books, completed another 2 books and started 2 more:

Forged in Steele (KGI, #7)Blood Rites (The Dresden Files, #6)Last to Die (Rizzoli & Isles, #10)Against the Law (The Raines of Wind Canyon, #3)


Forged in Steele by Maya Banks
Blood Rites by Jim Butcher
Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen
Against the Law by Kat Martin (review to come)

Partially read:

Immortal Rider by Larissa Ione - 30%
Ill Wind by Rachel Caine - 75% (audio)

Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Sunday Post #4

The Sunday Post The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. The purpose of this meme is to showcase new book acquisitions and interesting posts from the previous week. 

So what's going on at The Hottie Harem:

Bout of Books 8.0 - its been ages since I participated in a Read-A-Thon and I'd forgotten how much fun it is to read and share with others.

Still working on my new blog design and made some new banners for the slider. Now all I need is a blog header...

Here are the reviews posted at the Harem this week:

Blood Rites (The Dresden Files, #6)Forged in Steele (KGI, #7)Last to Die (Rizzoli & Isles, #10) 

Blood Rites by Jim Butcher
Forged in Steele by Maya Banks
Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen

Not to mention some other fun stuff...

Monday Musings - Young Detectives Club
Top Ten Tuesday - Easy Blogging
Hunk of the Week
Covers to Covet

And these are the books acquired this week:

Lady Sophia's Lover (Bow Street Runners, #2)Immortal Rider (Lords of Deliverance, #2 )

Lady Sophia's Lover by Lisa Kleypas (Amazon)
Immortal Rider by Larissa Ione (Kobo)

So what have you been up to this week?

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Day #5 Update

Bout of Books 

Didn't read much yesterday but I did start another book.

Update Friday August 23rd:

Ill Wind (Weather Warden, #1)Immortal Rider (Lords of Deliverance, #2 )

* Listened to 15% of Ill Wind by Rachel Caine - Some interesting revelations but the story is still slow going.

* Started Immortal Rider by Larissa Ione and read 17 pages. Exciting beginning. 

Friday, 23 August 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Day #4 Update

Bout of Books 

Yay - finished my 2nd book:

Update Thursday August 22nd:

Ill Wind (Weather Warden, #1)Against the Law (The Raines of Wind Canyon, #3)

* Listened to 12% of Ill Wind by Rachel Caine - Starting to liven up a little now that the hottie has come on the scene :0)

* Read 251 pages of Against the Law by Kat Martin and finished the book. Good premise but as with many of Martin's books, the execution needs work. 

Covers to Covet #3

Covers to Covet

Have you ever chosen a book based solely on its cover?

Sometimes a cover is a complete turn off but other times they make me want to rush right out and buy the book immediately!

Here are some recent additions to my Covers to Covet board on Pinterest:
Storm Warrior (Grim, #1)Iced (Fever, #6; Dani O'Malley, #1)Circle of Death: A Damask Circle Book: 2Cole's Redemption (Alpha Pack #5)The Line (Witching Savannah, #1)Circle of Fire: A Damask Circle Book: 1Awaken (Abandon Trilogy, #3)

Storm Warrior by Dani Harper
Iced by Karen Marie Moning
Circle of Death by Keri Arthur
The Dark Affair by Maire Claremont
Cole's Redemption by J.D. Tyler
The Line  by J.D. Horn
Circle of Fire by Keri Arthur
Awaken by Meg Cabot

*Links to Goodreads

Feature & Follow #3

Increase Blog Followers 

Feature & Follow Friday is a blog hop aimed at providing exposure for new bloggers and at expanding blog followers. The hop is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read and is a wonderful opportunity for making new friends and sharing your love for books and reading. 

This week's featured blogs are: Spare Time Book Blog and Read This Instead
Q: Book Selfie! Take a pic with your current read.

My sweet Tobie is far more photogenic than I so here he is with my latest iPad read:
 photo TobieampBook.jpg

Isn't he cute?

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Day #3 Update

Bout of Books 

Had a great 3rd day of reading.

Update Wednesday August 21st:

Ill Wind (Weather Warden, #1)Last to Die (Rizzoli & Isles, #10)Against the Law (The Raines of Wind Canyon, #3)

* Listened to 10% of Ill Wind by Rachel Caine - This is going more slowly than expected. The story has potential but the descriptions of weather manipulation are tedious and excessive.

* Read 185 pages of Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen - Finished the book. Here's my review.

* Read 158 pages of Against the Law by Kat Martin - Enjoying the basic premise of black market adoptions but the romance is meh s neither character is particularly appealing.

Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen

Last to Die (Rizzoli & Isles, #10) Title: Last to Die
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis: Three children survive the annihilation of their families only to be victims for a second time. What is the connection between them and who has target them for death? Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles must face their most determined adversary yet.  

Review: An improvement on the last two books in the series. The mystery is fast-paced and thrilling with some clever twists and turns that keep you turning the pages.

The secondary characters are well-developed, particularly the children, Teddy, WIll and Claire, which makes it easy to sympathize with their predicament and become engrossed in the plot. Moreover, the Evensong school serves as an intriguing backdrop and the descriptions of classes, teachers and student dynamics provides an extra dimension to the story. The subplot involving Julian "Rat" Perkins and the Jackals seems to suggest that Gerritsen is planning a YA spin-off.

The weakest aspect of the book is the development of Jane and Maura's characters. It seems that Gerritsen has reached a plateau in this area and has nowhere to go with it. Maura is at a crossroads in both her personal and professional life and her story lacks closure. Jane is happily married and her only issue is dealing with her obnoxious family (the Rizzolis in the TV series are much more likable bunch).

All in all, a gripping read although the main characters need more direction.